A Visitor's Guide to Kalkan, Turkey
The charming Turkish town of Kalkan has been on the map for a long time, but only blossomed into a sophisticated holiday resort in the past few decades.
Located at the base of the Taurus Mountains on the only natural harbour between Fethiye and Kaş, the fishing-village-turned-holiday-resort is a mecca for "foodie" holiday makers. With choices ranging from fast food like pide and kebabs to award-winning international cuisine, the town has a reputation for having the highest concentration of bars and restaurants of any town along Turkey's Mediterranean coast. Upscale boutiques, featuring products made by talented Turkish artisans, are interspersed between the bars and restaurants lining the narrow winding streets around Kalkan's small harbour. And, because the town is built onto the slope of the mountains, almost every establishment offers a fabulous view of the sea.
The one downside to Kalkan as a seaside resort is its distinct lack of beaches. However, Patara, one of Turkey's longest white sand beaches (and the birthplace of St. Nicholas!) and Kaputaş (a spectacular beach at the mouth of a steep mountain canyon) are only a short drive away.
Kalkan was mostly inhabited by Greeks until the population exchange in 1923, resulting in a strong Ottoman-Greek influence on the architecture of the town's white-washed buildings and houses. Even the mosque overlooking the harbour has a Greek-feel – which makes sense because it was originally built as an Orthodox church and only converted to a mosque after World War II.
Nowadays, Kalkan's economy is based solely on tourism and strict building codes are in place to preserve the town's historic feeling. The effort must be worth it, as many visitors return to their beloved holiday resort time and time again. It is definitely worth a visit – and who knows – you may become a Kalkan devotee too!
Kalkan in Pictures
Click on any image to enlarge.
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